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Maren's GOO GOO Story

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Okay, here it is:

On May 7, 2002, the Goo Goo Dolls performed in Hamburg, Germany. When I first told my mom about me planning to go there, she said I was completely nuts, but actually, this is nothing new. Everything was planned - I had my concert ticket, my train ticket (I live like 4 hrs via train away from Hamburg ...) and a place where I could stay at night. (Thanks again, Chrissi!)

The closer the date came, the more nervous I got. It was my very first GOO show - and my first "real" concert ever. So on Monday morning, before I left home, I was the one who thought that this was completely crazy, but mom said, "I think it is okay that you're doing this. You're still young ..."

So I left Uni a bit earlier that day and went to town first to buy "Gutterflower" (I had gotten a copy of it from a friend in the US, but I wanted to support the guys over here, too ...) and something to eat, and then I made my way to the trainstation. Four hours later I arrived at Hamburg, where I met up with some other fans.

The next day, we went to the Grünspan, the venue. We were there already at 2 pm, six hours before the doors opened and 7 hours before the concert began. Hey, we wanted to be in the front row, so we had to be there early! LOL As time passed by, more and more fans arrived with some of which I have email contact now. :) Nice, nice, nice.

At 6 pm, a van was rolling by. Guess who was in?? Yup, no one else but Johnny ... At least he was the only one I saw, but Robby and Mike were in this van, too. Cuz shortly after their arrival, they began with the soundcheck. When they arrived, the van shortly stopped, and Johnny took the time to wave, to smile, and to stick out his tongue. Oh my GOD! What a smile! Some of us ran around the corner, trying to see him before he went in - and it worked. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to get close to him and ask for a pic or a signature, but shortly after that, I had a pretty darn good idea ...

I tore out a sheet of my journal (which I always carry with me, you never know what might happen ...) and wrote "John, can I have your guitar pick?" with a black marker on it. I had NO IDEA that this would work ...

8 pm: The door opened and we were finally allowed to get in. Ahhhh!!! They searched my backpack for a camera, but they couldn't find it - it was too well hidden, tee hee! I somehow managed to be in front row, sandwiched between two fans, which didn't do me too well in the beginning: I felt nauseous and claustrophobic. But in my back, there was still some space left so I could step back until the length of my arms - and I was still in front row ... I ended up in the middle, right between Johnny and Robby, awesome, awesome, awesome! Ya know, Johnny would play some of his solos right in front of me ... Oh BOY! (Yeah, I know, I sound like a teenie bopper, but WHAT A SIGHT! LOL)

9 pm: The guys came out. They started with "Naked" which got the crowd going immediately. We sang along each and every song (okay, we had some trouble with "Tucked Away", but nevermind) on top of our lungs and jumped up and down like mad. As for my sign: I was holding it up several times, and I am sure to death, Johnny read it. During one song, he looked over to us (we were a bit more over at Robby's side of the stage), just in time, when I had this sign right in front of me. I gave him an extra smile, he looked a little closer and grinned. After one song, they made a short break in which Robby changed his t-shirt and decided to come back onstage without socks.

Anyways, before that break, a little blue triangular something was thrown in my direction. It fell to the floor before it could ever reach me. So there it was lying, and I thought, "Shit. It's never gonna be yours ..." Jason, the bodyguard, bent down and picked it up. You can imagine what happened - everyone wanted to have it, several arms were reaching for it, including mine. Well, Jason first kept it, and then ... Then he placed it in MY hand!!! Oh GOD!!! "YES!!" I thought. I think it is safe to assume that he, too, saw this sign ... LOL Chrissi next to me asked, "Did ya get it?" I could only nod, and she said, "How cool!"

During one song, two of us held up a sign saying "GOO FRIENDS", and when Johnny saw this, he asked for the GOO part of it. Someone handed it to him and he went on, "We have a really stupid name. When I hold it that way" - he held it the way it had to be - "it says 'GOO'. But when I turned it around, - he held it upside down - "it says 'OOG'. Anyways ..." He gave it back and continued with the performance. Another cool moment was, when Kathy handed Robby a stuffed bunny and a cartoon she had drawn. Robby grinned and placed the bunny on top of a box next to him and from time to time he pretended that the bunny sipped out of his beaker ... Too funny! :)

During "Black Balloon", some of us were making soap bubbles, Johnny looked over and said, "Hey, cool!" but sadly, the securities put an end to that. :( And before "Iris", Johnny was telling one of his stories, I don't remember what he said, but all of a sudden, one of us (Sandra) yelled, "Do it, baby!" Johnny looked over, repeating, "Do it, baby?! Okay!" And he did it - playing "Iris" that is. :)

After finishing "Iris", they left the stage and came back shortly after that to play the encore, consisting on "Name" and "Hate This Place".

Here is the setlist of the show:

NAKED
LONG WAY DOWN
SLIDE
BURNIN UP
BIG MACHINE
BLACK BALLOON
DIZZY
HERE IS GONE
JANUARY FRIEND
FALLIN DOWN
SYMPATHY
WHAT A SCENE
LUCKY STAR
THERE YOU ARE
WE ARE THE NORMAL
TUCKED AWAY
BROADWAY
FLAT TOP
IRIS
NAME*
HATE THIS PLACE

* On the set list, it said "Just The Way You Are", but they obviously changed that ... LOL

Well, after the last chords of "Hate This Place", the guys left the stage, and security and the hell knows what other people started cleaning the venue, removing the amps, guitars, drums etc. So we were more or less kicked out.

Outside the Grünspan, we were about to meet Jürgen, a guy who works for WEA Records, their record label. Without him, nothing of what was going to happen next, would have been possible ... We talked to him for a short time, and then Sandra asked the question everyone of us had in mind but didn't dare to ask: "How is it - any chances to get an autograph or a pic with them?" Jürgen smiled and said, "Okay, I'll take you with me ..." He did so, and so we went back into the Grünspan, but this time, we went upstairs into a bar. VIP area ... We weren't waiting for too long when Chrissi said, "There's Robby!" In they came - Mike followed by Robby. Johnny had already left the venue right after the show because he had trouble with his voice.

OH MY GOD!! GOO encounter!!! Could it be any better???

I first went to Mike, took out my Gutterflower inlay and asked him, if he could sign it. "Sure", he said. I talked to him briefly and then I moved my butt over to Robby. Originally, the plan was just to give him a sheet with the link to the EuroGoo website, getting an autograph and a pic and then GOOd bye, but this shouldn't happen. Well, I arrived just in time, when B-Nice gave him the sheet and told him about EuroGoo, so she pointed at me, mentioning "Black Balloon" which is another screen name of mine, but very much less known than HockeyGOO. Robby looked a little puzzled at me, so I decided to try something and asked, "Robby, do you know HockeyGOO?" "Yes, I know HockeyGOO!", he replied. "Well, that's me ..." "NO WAY!" "Believe me, I AM HockeyGOO! I'm not kidding you!" "I read you every day on World Of Goo board!" he said ... LOL OH MY GOSH! HE KNOWS WHO I AM!! HOLY SHIT!!! Too good to be true ... Turned out, he knew ALL of us ... "I sooooo know you! I'm your stalker!" he said, and smiled. He is a complete RIOT, I swear!!!

While we were talking to him, Jason approached, trying to pull us away from him, because he thought we were besieging Robby, but Robby sent Jason away! Too cool! When Jason was gone, Robby said, "I'll hit him in the head with something really hard!" and while saying that, he wagged with a marker he was holding in his hand ... LMAO!

I had him sign my copy of Gutterflower and my cloth DUTG promo banner. When I asked him to sign this thing, he looked at me: "Where did you get this?" "Ebay", I replied. "You won it?" I just nodded and he patted my head! How cool is that? ;) He wrote three times "THANK YOU!" on the banner before signing it. LOL Mike signed it, too, of course.

During the conversation with him, he all of a sudden opened the bag he had with him, started rummaging around in it and finally put out a Bart Simpson shaped PEZ dispenser. LOL! He told us about his collection he has at home. I'll never forget this moment when he was rummaging in this bag ...

Also, I had my pic taken with both of them. First I asked Robby, and of course he agreed, and put his arm around my shoulder. But then he said, "No, wait! I'll give ya a hip check!" So the two of us pretended to play some hockey while Sandra was taking the pic with her digicam. My GOOdness! Also, Mike agreed on a pic immediately. I was wearing my hockey jersey that evening, so Mike said, "Oh, you're wearing American sportswear!" I think he found that really cool.

Anyways, it was a PERFECT evening, definitely the night of my life. :) What amazed me the most was the fact that Robby and Mike remained to stay so down to Earth though they are superstars in their homeland. Here in Germany, the GGD are hardly known, I sometimes think it is something like a privilege to be a fan of them. And I would like to thank all three of them once again for the great show they put on in Hamburg, for the time we could spend with them after the show and I wish them all the best for their career. I truly hope they'll be back over here again soon and rock the country! ;)

© 2002-2006 Raven